by Phillip Manning ~ February 27th, 2014
Upper Susitna Seniors, Inc. has begun the process of seeking funds for a new $3 million facility, and are moving toward changing their name. According to Larry Dearman, vice-chair of the board of directors for the Seniors, money is being sought from state capital funds to build a new facility that would house classrooms, computers, and a larger fitness facility. Under the current plan, $2.5 million would come from state funds, with the remainder coming from foundations such as the Mat-Su Health Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation.
To counter the issue that faces many non-profits with new, expensive facilities, Larry Dearman says that the Seniors plan to rent some of the space to the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, as well as using electrical hook-ups on the property as RV rentals during the summer. This would be in addition to the rental of senior housing that already takes place. Dearman says the board believes this would offset the operational and maintenance cost of the new facility.
The Upper Susitna Seniors plan to open the facility to use by the entire community. As part of that, the organization is planning to change the name of the facility to the Upper Susitna Senior and Community Center to represent the broadened mission. Larry Dearman says that the Seniors are looking for support in raising awareness of the project with the state legislature, and interested individuals can contact a member of the board of directors.